When We Lose a Loved Pet.
Quite a few of the people who visit this site, or the Ark itself, have recently lost a loved pet and are either looking for a
new pet to fill the awful gap left by the departed one, or are not ready to take that step yet, but need the contact with other dogs or cats.This page is dedicated to those “lost” pets and their heart-broken owners and if it brings comfort to just one of them it will be worthwhile.Losing a loved pet is no trivial thing and cannot be brushed away and life carried on as if nothing had happened. For many life will never be the same again; the hole left by the departed pet cannot be filled and the grief can be as painful and real as if a close human had passed away.
The poems below need a box of tissues nearby before reading commences but many people have written to say that, although they found them upsetting to read, they also found them helpful and comforting.
Read and be comforted and, if it helps to write to us about the pet you miss so much and/or send us a picture, please feel free to do so. We’ll read every one and reply to them too.
We’ve just heard the sad news of the sudden death of one of our more mature residents, Ben, a lovely gentle giant who left us for a lovely retirement home. His sad owners have sent us the following message:
“So very sorry to say that Ben was diagnosed with a large solid mass in his lower abdomen yesterday, 10th April, and was put to sleep at around 9 a.m.
“It was a big shock, but we managed to hide our sadness from him, while we kissed, cuddled, and stroked him. We spoke to him all the time, and told him that we loved him, whilst he was drifting off to sleep.
“Still numb with shock and absolutely heartbroken.
“We have asked for Bens ashes to be returned to us in a casket, which we intend to put on the dining room dresser, between his two “step-sisters”. Really missing him ….. When he comes home from the crematorium, at least we’ll feel that he’s back where he belongs ….. with us.”
So many of us have been in this sad situation and our sympathy goes to Ben’s “Mum & Dad”
Rodney came into the Ark when he was 4 years old so has lived to a good age. He’s was a very large rabbit and very friendly. His owner has written to let us know of his loss:
“I would just like to let you know that I lost Rodney the Grey rabbit I got from you about five years ago. He was greatly loved and remained a house rabbit all his life, I miss him deeply. He shared a pen with Rupert as I remember. He died peacefully in my arms the vet thinks it could have been old age and a tumour, I hope you can let his previous owners know he was looked after well and loved. Thank you”
What a lovely way for a pet to go, in the arms of the person who loved him most.
Back in June 2008, Robbie, aged 6 years a Lab X Retriever came into the Ark with his 12 year old mum Fila, a Retriever cross, because their owners were moving house and couldn’t take them. They were inseparable and Robbie was particularly dependent on his mum, so they had to be rehomed together. Then Flia was found to have a mammary tumour which required treatment as well as temporary separation and Robbie’s devastation at not sharing his kennel with his mum for a while was pitiful.
In 2009 we found them a lovely family home together where they lived happily until Fila died a few years later. Once again Robbie was grief-stricken and it was the family’s teenage son who seemed to understand Robbie so well who brought him round and developed a wonderful bond with him. We’ve now heard that Robbie died recently at around 15 years old and the family, understandably, miss him a lot. They’ve written to tell us the sad news:
“I just wanted to let you know that we have said goodbye to our beloved Robbie. We adopted Fila and Robbie from yourselves, I think around 2009. Robbie was a very old boy and his kidneys failed and on the vet’s advice we had him put to sleep. We absolutely loved the time we had with him and the whole family miss him terribly. Many thanks to the Ark for allowing us to adopt Fila and Robbie all those years ago! They both brought us so much happiness.”
He was a beautiful boy and in the perfect home to understand his quite complex needs.
Mystic & Kimmi
This family has lost two much loved pets in a short space of time.
First of all was Mystic on 26th September when they wrote:
“It is with a very heavy heart that I have to inform you that our beautiful Mystic is being put to sleep today. We adopted her from you about 11 year ago and she has been the most perfect dog. She has been spoilt rotten and loved so much. Sadly her demise has happened quickly and the vet thinks there is a problem with her brain. We don’t want her to suffer any longer and this is our final act of kindness, although it is the hardest. Thank you so much for letting us take her home all those years ago.”
As if that weren’t bad enough, now their other dog Kimmi has passed away on 27th November.:
“It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform you that this morning our beautiful Kimmi went across Rainbow Bridge. Kimmi had an underactive thyroid and skin condition that required daily steroid tablet, she was also suffering with arthritis. Despite having these conditions for several years, they were finally having a toll on her and her quality of life was greatly reduced, especially over this weekend. Our vet agreed with our decision. Kimmi has been a wonderful dog and a special friend. We have loved having every second with her and are grateful that we were able to offer her a home. Losing Kimmi so soon after losing Mystic is difficult, but I know it was the right thing to let her go today.
“This attached photo was taken a couple of weeks ago. Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to have Kimmi in our lives.”
Both dogs were ex-Ark dogs and had been in their homes for many years. Our hearts go out to their human family in their double loss and our thanks for giving two rescue dogs such a loving home.
Bartley was signed over to the Ark when his former owners were unable to keep him but he was quickly snapped up and now his heartbroken owners have written to tell us he has sadly died:
“It’s with a broken heart I have to let you know 6.5 years after bringing Bartley home from your rescue he has passed on this afternoon at the age of 13. We are completley heart broken and already the house feels so empty. I’ve attached some of our favourite photos of him over the past years with him. He has always been such a good boy and when I had my baby boy last year I was worried about how he might be with him being a grumpy old man by then. He adored our little boy and didn’t mind helping him learn to walk our son would place his hand on Bartley’s back and they would slowly wander across the floor. Little one always patted him, climbed over him and gave him extra fuss which Bartley loved. He was a big cuddly teddy bear with a very loud nasty sounding bark that didn’t really like other dogs. Bartley was the best dog we could ever have wished for.
“Thank you for letting us adopt him and bring him home with us to create the amazing family we had. I will always treasure the memories of Bartley either at one of the stable yards when I had my horse, sun bathing in the garden, snoring on the sofa, stealing the bed and duvet and just cuddles, licks and those gorgeous brown eyes.”
We knew Bartley was a special boy and that’s what he’s proved to be. Our sympathy goes to his family at this sad time.
We’ve just had sad news of Mystic who was adopted from the Ark 11 years ago. It’s not often we hear from friends of so long ago but so nice that owners still want to share their good and bad news with us of our past residents:
“It is with a very heavy heart that I have to inform you that our beautiful Mystic is being put to sleep today.(26th Sept ’17). We adopted her from you about 11 year ago and she has been the most perfect dog. She has been spoilt rotten and loved so much. Sadly her demise has happened quickly and the vet thinks there is a problem with her brain. We don’t want her to suffer any longer and this is our final act of kindness, although it is the hardest. Thank you so much for letting us take her home all those years ago.”
It’s always sad to lose a loved pet, but when it has been so much a member of the family for so long, it’s doubly hard to make that decision. It’s a measure of the love her family had for her that they did her this one last service. Run free now Mystic.
Charlie came into our boarding kennels when his owner went into hospital. When it became obvious he would no longer be able to look after Charlie, we were asked to transfer him to our rescue kennels and find him a new home. He was overweight and suffered from arthritis, so we put him on a reducing diet and and he was on JointAid and went to his new home quickly. We’ve just heard the sad news that Charlie has sadly died:
Just a little message to let you know that handsome Charlie (15) has now gone across the rainbow bridge. We were lucky to have been blessed with him for 3 years and he was a well-loved special boy, who we will dearly miss. Xx”
We know he would have had wonderful care in his new home and the fact that he lasted another three years is testament to that. We’re so pleased that Charlie had that love and comfort for his final years. You can tell how happy he was by the lovely photos.
Stanley came to the Ark when he started nipping as he got older because he no longer liked children prodding and generally annoying him. Quite understandable for an older boy. But he was soon adopted into a calmer home where he’s lived happily ever since. His family have just let us know that they’ve recently lost their dear old boy and sent us pictures and an epitaph:
“We adopted Stan 10 years old in June 2013.
Stan just wanted to be left alone having a quiet retirement!
He was a great companion for William our cocker spaniel, best pals!
Stan became part of our family, and far from being left alone he became very affectionate demanding attention and fuss!
Stan knew we would never let him come to any harm, we never allowed the grandchildren to be boisterous with him and in return he became very attached to them, he laid with our disabled daughter when she became poorly with glandular fever.
Stan stayed fit and healthy until around 6 months ago at 14 years old he starting showing his age.
Leading up to the 5th August 2017, Stan made it clear he’d had enough, however he never lost his appetite! Just his body wouldn’t work for him.
He had us lay with him on many occasion almost telling us enough was enough.
We let Stan go peacefully, the vet said he was ready.
Stan was a gentleman to the end, a proper character who will never be forgotten, we all miss you ! RIP Stanley! X”
We all join in sending our sympathy to Stan’s family and hope all the wonderful memories will sustain them in their loss.
Dotty came into the Ark with her best friend Bruno, aged 15 and 17 years respectively following the death of their owner.They were bewildered and defensive at first but gradually accepted their new situation and accepted us. They were adopted together as we couldn’t contemplate separating them and we heard last year that, sadly, Bruno had died. Now we’ve had the same news of Dotty and their family has written of them:
“Just writing to let you know the sad news that Dotty recently passed away. She had suddenly got very thin, frail and tired (but she had reached a fantastic age of around 19 years old.) Dotty really missed her soulmate Bruno after he passed away last year – she would no longer sleep by herself and for a while she refused to eat anything other than lasagna! We of course spoiled her to bits because even with her blind eye, her bald patches and her boils she was a precious princess who wouldn’t have harmed a fly! We do miss her terribly. Both dogs have left a big hole in our lives, but we are so thankful for the 3 years we had with Bruno and the 4 years with Dotty as we have many funny and happy memories.
“Attached are a couple of photos of Dotty – one of her trying to round up our piglets who kept escaping and one of her enjoying the sunshine!”
We’re so sorry to hear of the loss of this lovely old pair but what a good innings they had and died in the knowledge they were loved and cared for.
Max was adopted from the Ark 5 years ago and has been a constant companion ever since. Very sadly, he had to be put to sleep on Thursday 9th March and his mum has since written to us and sent some photos:
“As you are aware Max passed away Thursday, as we got him from you I thought I’d send you some of my favourite pics of the gorgeous little man. When I see him in your kennels I fell in love with him instantly, I ran to the office to secure him before anyone else could. When we brought him home he settled in very quickly and ruled the roost. I had 5 years with the little man and loved every minute, he really did become my best friend, he followed me everywhere, I can honestly say I feel lost without him. With this in mind if you have any position available for dog walking or cleaning please give me a call.”
Gemma is feeling the awful grief familiar to anybody who has lost a much loved pet. She’s also displaying the need to be around dogs but finding it too soon to think about another pet yet. We see a lot of people in Gemma’s situation and welcome anybody needing a doggy or pussy fix to get them over a difficult time. Our sympathy goes out to her as this sad time.
Shelley arrived at the Ark in 2009 via the Blue Cross where she’d been handed in as too aggressive. However she was rehomed to a family and the comments below just show what a lovely cat she actually was. They sadly lost her on 3rd december ’16:
“Just to let you know that our beloved Shelley Straycat, who we adopted from you about eight and a half years ago, made her final visit to the vet yesterday. She had become quite thin and ill over the last couple of weeks and was fading fast. She was an old lady,as you said you thought she might be nine or ten when we adopted her.
“Shelley brought so much joy into my life and into the life of Sharon, my partner. We loved her like crazy, and was the best friend and companion we could have hoped for. I know we will see her again over Rainbow Bridge one day.
“Thank you for letting us take her into our lives. Although we are full of grieaf and pain today, I am sure that, when the time is right, we will be along to see if we can help out another of your older feline residents.
Love and best wishes to all at The Ark.”
Shelley’s story proves there are two sides to every story and that she’d found a home where she felt loved and at home and therefore happy. Our sympathy goes to her family who have obviously lost a good friend and we hope they’re comforted by many happy memories and the fact that it was a two-way street and they gave her as muchas she gave them.
On the 7th October, 20016 Henry was PTS in my arms. He had been diagnosed in 1st March with an enlarged heart and over the following months his
condition slowly took its toll.
Henry, renamed Henry O’Shaughnessy, was an Ark rescue and came to live with me and be my friend on 25th November 2014. He was a handsome, gentle, sweet natured and very loving and clever rabbit.
Quote Lewis Carroll: “He was part of my dream, of course– but then I was part of his dream, too.”
A song for Henry.
Lewis had an unsettled life before coming to the Ark as nobody seemed to want to commit to him and yet, he was such a friendly, loyal and playful boy. But after a couple of false starts, he found the perfect home and family where he’s been for almost 7 years. We’ve had updates on him from time to time and know that he was much loved but also loved his family back. Now sadly he’s had to be put to sleep following a stroke and his mum has written to tell us what a wonderful dog he was:
Hello dear friends. You may remember Lewis, who my husband and I adopted in Dec. 2009 I think it must have been. .I thought you would like to know he had a stroke on 21st. July and I had to have him put to sleep. He was 14 or 15 years old and was the dearest boy imaginable. I lost my husband too in March and Lewis and I shared our grief and supported each other in a wonderful way. Lewis was devastated when Rupert died. Thank you so much for all you did for us. Lewis has been on the Happy Endings page a couple of times. Every good wish to you all.”
Our sympathy goes to Lewis’s mum at his loss in what must have been a sad and difficult year for her. We hope she finds solace in all the wonderful memories she has.
Sonny, Ark name Tyson, was in the Ark twice in 2012 and again in 2014 so was with us a while during his two stays. He was an adorable boy, often seeming young for his age but didn’t do well in kennels as he just wanted to be around people all the time. We’ve now sadly heard of his death, aged around 11 years old and his family is understandably mourning his loss.
“Sorry for not informing you before, but have been quite heartbroken. Our forever dog Sonny who we got from you 2 years ago and was called Tyson, has passed away, he had Lympangeitas disease of the small intestine.
“Though we miss him deeply, we have such wonderful memories of him and his ways, he was our best friend .”
Our sympathy goes out to Sonny’s family as we all know how they’re feeling. We hope their happy memories will sustain them through this sad time.
Bruno & Dottie came to the Ark back in January 2012 following the death of heir owner. Bruno was already 18 years old and Dottie 16. They were very stressed and defensive on admission but eventually settled and became friendly. It must have been such an upheaval for them at that age and we were delighted when a retirement home together was offered and where they’ve been ever since. Now, sadly, Bruno has died and Dottie must miss him so much. Their family has written to tell us:
“With great sadness, I am writing to inform you that Bruno passed away this week. We took Dotty and Bruno from the Ark to live with us just over three years ago. At the time you believed that they were 16 and 18 years old. This now would have made Bruno the grand old age of 21!
“He had been quite poorly and tired for a few weeks beforehand. Remarkably, Dotty seemed to know that he wasn’t going to be with us for much longer as towards the end she kept squeezing into his bed with him (although this did seem to annoy him rather than give him comfort!)
“We are all missing him dearly, yet feel blessed that he was such a big part of our family. Thank you for allowing us to take Dotty and Bruno home! Attached is our favourite photo of Bruno taken last summer.”
How well those dogs must have been loved and cared for to live to such a great age and we know that Dottie will get all the love possible to overcome her loss of of her lifelong friend.
Harley, a giant Leonberger, arrived at the Ark in a terrible condition having been rescued from a dreadful breeder and brought straight round to us. His coat was in a such a dreadful condition that he had to be shaved and he was suffering from a genetic condition passed down from in-breeding. But once he was sorted out, he found a wonderful loving home, where he stayed until his recent death. His mum has written to tell us about him:
“I have been wanting to send you a message for a while but I have been so upset and finding it hard to tell my friends that we had to have Harley put to sleep back end of last year. He was 8 yrs old and suffered a massive heart attack.
“We still can’t believe he’s not here with us, I can honestly say I have never felt such a close attachment to a dog as I did Harley, I still talk to him every day and say night Harley every night, he wouldn’t go to bed unless he had a cuddle. We had him cremated and brought him home so when the time comes that I go, Big H will come with me. I do not understand why people can be horrible to animals, At Glen’s husky rallies he became our mascot, people loved him so much. We had a lot of fun with him, n he loved being part of the husky part, oh yeah lol.. The huskies taught him to howl !!! What a noise that was, he sounded like a Dinosaur roaring lol. Can I say a huge thank you for introducing us to him, he played a very big part in our lives. We loved him so much xx thank you x”
Rest in Peace, Harley. You were such a gentle giant and deserved a better start in life than you had. Thank goodness you were rescued so we could find you the home and love you had.
We’ve just heard from a family grieving for their beloved dog for whom they had to make that awful decision we all dread of having her put to sleep due to bone cancer. They’ve sent the following beautiful dedication to her which will ring so many bells for so many people. Just left click on the picture to enlarge sufficiently to read.
Ozzy’s family adopted him way back in 2003 and are heartbroken at losing him as he was such a part of their family. They realise not many will remember him but just want to share that he came from the Ark and was loved to bits all his life. This is what they say about him:
“Sadly yesterday 5th Nov 2015 he passed away. In the last year hes had 2 illnesses we managed to get him bouncing back from. Sadly last night he wasn’t able to. Myself and my husband would like to thank you for bringing Ozzy into our lives; he will be missed more than anyone can know. Heartbroken, we really are, but to have given him a home for nearly all his life till he was an old boy was a gift and will treasure our memories with him forever.”
It doesn’t matter how long ago a dog left the Ark, or even if they were ever there, if it gives comfort to see a pet featured here, then we’re more than happy to do so. We all know what it’s like to feel like Ozzy’s family are right now.
Hattie née Princess
Daisy was a stray and was rehomed before it was sadly confirmed that she had feline
leukaemia and had to be put to sleep. Her owners are heartbroken, even though she
hadn’t been with them very long. For those who have difficulty reading the verse, see
below:What is a Cat?Gentle eyes
That see so much,
Paws that have
The quiet touch.Purrs that signal
“All is well”
And show more love
Than words can tell.Graceful movements
Touched with pride,
A calming presence
By our side.A friendship that
Will last and grow —A lovely dedication to a lovely cat.
Alfie was adopted from the Ark in 2009 by the sister of a supporter. We’ve just received the sad news that he’s died:“Unfortunately he developed a blood clot in his bad leg at the weekend which left him unable to use his rear legs and in alot of pain and discomfort, sadly the kindest thing to do was put him to sleep. He went to live in the stars on the 4th of January 2014 and will be privately cremated on 7th January. Rachael is obviously devastated, he was well loved and a very happy old man. RIP Stick dog xx”Bless him, it loks as if he had lots of fun during the last years of his life despite his advancing years and ‘gammy’ leg.
Blake & Patch
Blake is an ex-Ark cat that came in at the end of 2009, aged 6-7yrs when his owner was moving house. He’s been
living with his new family since and been much loved. His devastated owner has written of him:“It is with deep sadness that on Saturday 17th August (2013) we had to have Blake put to sleep. He had suffered with kidney problems for 2 years and was on a special diet and had medication. Last week he became ill again and his kidneys were so severely damaged that he only had a matter of weeks to live even if treated again. The vet recommended that he was put to sleep. We had three and half years with one of the most devoted and loving cats we have had. We really miss him. He is now buried with Patch (also ex Ark cat) and our persian cat Kai in a corner of the garden.”Once again, our sympathy goes out to this family as they also lost Patch (see below) recently.
Patch was an ex-Ark cat that came in for rehoming last year with his mum and her most recent litter of kittens as
their owner couldn’t cope with them all. Now, his owner has written with some sad news about him:
“It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that Patch our loving cat was hit by a car Friday night and died shortly after before we could get him to a vet. He was a wonderful loving cat and is deeply missed by us including our Yorkie who was a great companion to Patch and they often played together and slept in the same dog bed.”
Our sympathy goes to his new family who must be upset and shocked after such a short time together.
Ode To Oliver
The months have been and gone.
Forever since you left my side, but oh!
The memory lingers on.
The pain so hard to bear.
But you seemed ready, all set to go
To another life – elsewhere.
But from day to day, you’ll see.
The love we shared, the fun we had
Will be cherished forever – in me.
I’ll try not to be so sad
But treasure the walks, the games, the love
And the brilliant time we had.
(remembering my splendid dog Oliver)
The pain still feels so strong
The silent days, the empty nights
The days have seemed so long.
The names all mean the same
The most loyal friend I ever had
Or ever will again.
But one day we’ll be joined in Love
Running free – just you and me
Across Rainbow Bridge above.
Can’t wait to see your face
Once again, life will be good
In that happy, joyous place.
Play the games that were such fun
Can’t wait, can’t wait, my lovely boy –
Celebrate – NEW LIFE BEGUN!17th
We’ve done it now, boy – twelve months have passed.
A few more years, that’s all I asked.
But God had other plans.
The day had come for you to leave.
The time for me to yearn, to grieve.
Your collar treasured within my hands………..
Your lead is torn and frayed from play –
Used as a toy on walks each day.
You tugged and chewed it – you thought it fun!
The toys that squeak are silent now.
The house SO quiet – still strange somehow.
The year of change has now been done……….
Your bed and blanket, now gone at last;
The final remnants of the past.
A ray of hope can now begin
What’s left is precious and beyond compare –
That silky, lustrous lock of hair
And the joyous memory that lives within……..
BLESS YOU OLIVER.
And two years on…
Hot, September afternoon
Feels so warm, last night full moon.
But you’re not here……
Autumnal colours, sleepy haze
Birds all quiet, shorter days
But you’re not here…….
Soon be winter, first frosts and dew
Walks in silent woods to do
But you’re not here……
The time has passed, now two years –
Can’t believe so many tears
Are you still not here?……
I close my eyes – yearn and seek
Then – a brush of fur against my cheek
Yes – you’re here!!
That love we shared will never die
We’re still together, you and I
I defy anybody reading these poems not to have at the very least a lump in the throat. Anybody who has lost a loved pet, either recently or not so recently, will understand fully this lady’s feelings, from raw emotion to the gradual coming to terms with the loss of her beloved pet, but never ever forgetting him and the good times they had together.
We’ve just heard from Oliver’s owner again and she’s written another poem about him. It may be entitled “No More Tears” but it certainly brings tears to the eyes. It also shows that there comes a time to move on without ever forgetting a loved one and this lady is now doing just that. She says this is her latest and maybe (not sure) final poem about Oliver.
No More Tears
No more tears
The crying’s done
No more tears
We’re still as one
The love we shared, the fun, the joy
Forever – my lovely boy
No more tears
No more tears Move on at last
No more tears
The past is passed
The fun we had, locked in my heart
Never, ever to be apart
No more tears
No more tears
Let’s look ahead
No more tears
Let’s laugh instead
I loved you then, I love you now –
I did survive – I don’t know how!
No more tears, Oliver – just precious memories
Bless you, my special lad
Well it wasn’t the final poem and Oliver’s Mum has written another one, just as lovely as all the others marking the 7 years’ anniversary of his death and showing that you never forget but life carries on regardless. However, there’s still comfort from feeling his presence but she can now “let him go”.
My restless thoughts now turn to you
A smile then appears
Happy memories, fun-filled days
Dispel the falling tears
Can it really be that long?
The years have quickly flown
Keeping busy, day by day
But – different, on my own
Never dreamt I’d still be sad
Through 7 lonely years
But close my eyes, really tight
And suddenly! You appear…………..
So Oliver, my lovely lad
My oh so handsome boy
Please stay awhile at my side
And fill this aching void.
How wonderful to have you here!
My joy hard to express
So long it’s been to feel this way
And know such happiness……….
Now back to Rainbow Bridge you go
It’s time again to part.
But see you soon, run free, have fun
You’re forever in my heart.
I miss you, Oliver.